European cities are getting smarter. Smart technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), Internet of Everything (IoE), and other AI-based technologies, are being injected more directly into the lives of citizens. Smart cities are seen as evolving ecosystems in which multiple actors act, react and interact over time to foster innovative solutions and provide better services for citizens. Despite the growing interest, existing research has to make key advances, important gaps persist as scholars lag behind theoretical development and rarely take into account the most important element of a city: people. Business and management scholars have focused on how to define strategies in smart cities, local policy, and others investigated the challenges of building a smart city. Few concerns deal with humans. In addressing these shortcomings, we tried to highlight why any smart city should be a community that learns, adapts, co-creates, and innovates. The purpose of this study is to investigate the human perspective that goes beyond the focus on technology related to smart cities in Europe, through an analysis in depth on how and how much citizens make cities smart. The focus is on people and their well-being combined with the shared knowledge and development that arises from each player in the ecosystem. To get an overall vision of the people-centric smart city we carry out an exploratory literature review with a PRISMA protocol that guides the identification of the studies to be included in the review. We finally provide implications for scholars and practitioners and suggest future research opportunities.
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